Government expected to push ahead with 'three-tier' approach to local lockdowns

1 October 2020, 17:55

By Sam Sholli

The UK is set to introduce a new "three-tier" approach to approach Covid-19 restrictions for local areas in England, a senior journalist has told LBC.

Jane Merrick, the Policy Editor and the i Paper who broke the story told Shelagh Fogarty that ministers are currently "just trying to work out the details" of the system.

Mrs Merrick's exchange with Shelagh comes on the same day that Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that extra restrictions to prevent social mixing anywhere apart from public outdoor spaces would be brought in for the Liverpool City Region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.

She told Shelagh: "I understand this is in discussion among ministers and officials, and they're just trying to work out the details. But essentially it would be a streamlining of local lockdowns across the country. This is mainly about England for now."

"It could be a traffic-light system or just a system of three tiers..."

Under the system, according to Mrs Merrick, tier one would be for the "strictest lockdowns", tier two would be used for "some restrictions but not as strict as [for] hotspots and tier three would be for the rest of the country.

"The idea is that it would not only be much simpler for people to follow, but [that] as people find it more easy to follow they would adhere to it better," she explained.

She added: "I think there's a concern that people are so confused by the rules, as Boris Johnson was this week, that they just think 'what's the point?' I don't understand the rules so I'm just not going to follow them at all."

Speaking more broadly about the state of the UK under the coronavirus crisis, Mrs Merrick said: "We are now seeing a North-South divide in terms of infections".

Mayor of Middlesbrough Andy Preston has told LBC that the Government has "forced" new local lockdown measures on the town "without warning or discussion".

Meanwhile, in a joint statement, Liverpool metro mayor Steve Rotheram and the leaders of the city region's six authorities said there was an urgent need for a package of economic support and asked the Government to provide scientific evidence about whether the new restrictions would be enough to stop the spread.